The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/31/13 at 02:00 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings began their 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks finding out that Henrik Zetterberg had taken himself out of the game due to a groin injury, and by the time the game ended, the Mikael Samuelsson had succumbed to an "upper-body" injury (may be his last game for the Wings given how badly he's played in limited action--he's a cap-compliance buy-out lock).
With Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom in the house, the Red Wings played like they'd forgotten that those #9 jerseys they wore in warm-ups did not in fact give them super powers against a Blackhawks team that's owned them at the Joe...
So the Blackhawks came out and owned the Wings at the Joe, forcing the Wings' defense into making the same kind of own-goal-scoring defensive mistakes (hi, Jakub Kindl) that the Wings committed during their 2-0 loss to the Sharks on Thursday, and while Mike Babcock called himself out on the bench, and his players will call themselves out after the game, there's simply no excuse for playing this poorly this regularly against Chicago at the Joe.
I'm not going to do much other than update Zetterberg and Samuelsson's statuses. I'm turning this quick take over to you. Vent away, because tomorrow's NBCSN game against the Avs has just become a must-must-win if the Wings don't want the playoff pack to catch up to them--and it's worth noting that the Wings are now 0-and-3 with Lidstrom and Holmstrom watching them.
And no, we can't blame the players' wives...You can't blame Jonas Gustavsson (who may have lost his job to Petr Mrazek today) or Jimmy Howard per se, but the Wings' skaters...Were awful, and hearing Hawks fans chant "Let's Go Hawks" during the last minutes of the 3rd" was just disgusting. Good on the Joe's fans for drowning 'em out...
But this pattern has to end if the Wings are to indeed make good on their playoff push during what is very clearly a rebuilding and/or transitional year, and the effort has to come from the players the Wings have, not the players we hope will magically appear on Detroit's roster before Wednesday.
Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a video of Niklas Kronwall calling himself and his teammates out:
Update #2: Via RedWingsFeed, the Wings' YouTube channel posted clips of Kronwall...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.